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J Pathol. 1999 Oct;189(2):224-9.

Nitric oxide synthases in normal and benign hyperplastic human prostate: immunohistochemistry and molecular biology.

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1
Department of Experimental Medicine and Pathology, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

The expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) isoforms has been investigated in normal (three subjects) and benign hyperplastic prostate (ten patients) by immunohistochemistry and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The inducible NOS (iNOS or NOS-2) is not detected in normal prostate, while it is expressed in the prostate of all benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) patients, even in the absence of prostatitis or systemic signs of an inflammatory condition. This suggests that sex hormones may be involved in iNOS induction and that there may be a role for NO in the pathogenesis of BPH. Constitutive NOSs (nNOS and eNOS) are expressed in both normal and hyperplastic prostate and are co-expressed in epithelial cells. eNOS, however, is present mainly in the basal layer cells; nNOS seems abundantly expressed in the more superficial cells of the affected prostate. This indicates that the switching between the two constitutive isoforms may be part of the usual process of cell differentiation from the basal to the secretory layer of the epithelium.

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